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Common Nighthawk

Lights Out Action Alert April 3-4

Houston Audubon strongly recommends buildings more than two stories high turn LIGHTS OUT tonight and Wednesday night (April 3rd and 4th). Conditions are favorable for migratory birds crossing or circumnavigating the Gulf of Mexico to meet strong headwinds and precipitation on the upper Texas coast beginning around 11:30 PM, Tuesday night, April 2 and continuing through Wednesday. We recommend buildings more than two stories high turn off unnecessary lighting during the entire migration period, March 15 to May 15.

The BirdCast Live Migration Maps show northward bird migration is in full swing. A strong weather frontal system is moving into the region from the north and will bring thunderstorms starting late and continuing through the night. North winds will continue for Wednesday, finally switching around Thursday. A look at the Ventusky website shows the predicted precipitation and wind shift to occur at around midnight tonight. The Ventusky website can be adjusted to examine weather at various altitudes, times, and associated phenomena.

Migration for the region is predicted to have medium intensity by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s BirdCast Program. It is likely that the weather frontal passage tonight and tomorrow will bring any migratory birds over the coast from higher altitudes (e.g. 2,000-8,000 ft.) to areas of lowest headwinds and shelter, lower than 1,000 ft. to ground level.
With grounded birds in the region possible for the next few days, daytime collisions of naïve birds at ground level will be significantly increased. Please consider limiting dangerous threats such as glass surfaces reflecting vegetated habitat and outdoor predators such as house cats. More information on how you can reduce threats can be found at the Houston Audubon Bird-Friendly Communities webpages.

Thank you for making our region safer for wildlife!